Will the “Oriole Way” have their way in Seattle?
The Seattle Mariners are exactly half way through the season sits at 34-47 on the season putting them in 4th place in the A.L. West. Baltimore (42-36), whom the Mariners are hosting this week, are hoping to gain some ground on the first place Yankees.
The Orioles will be aggressive as they have something to play for while Seattle really doesn’t.
Pitching match ups
Game 82: LHP – Jason Hammel vs. RHP – Hisashi Iwakuma
Jason Hammel is having a career season back in the American League. The 29-year-old from Greenville, South Carolina has a career ERA of 4.80 but is pitching a 3.29 season so far.
He is coming off a rough start against the Angels, but will undoubtedly be looking for an easy win against the Mariners.
- * Hammel has only faced 4 of the M’s current roster, and even those are limited, but in the 7 at bats by Ichiro Suzuki against Hammel he is hitting .714
- * Current line: 8-3 / 3.29 ERA / 32 BB / 89 SO / 1.19 WHIP
Hisashi Iwakuma was picked up by the M’s in the offseason to be in their starting rotation, but the first chance he has comes half way through the season. This is not because of his record, which is spotty, but to cover for the injured Kevin Millwood who pulled his groin, again.
Iwakuma has been working out of the bullpen mainly in the long-relief role, but has struggled as he is not accustomed to warming up quickly and getting his game face on. Starting may make him look to be a better pitcher.
- * Iwakuma has appeared in only 14 games this season, but has recorded 2 saves and has 4.75 ERA
- * Iwakuma was a dominate pitcher in Japan but has struggled after injuries and switching to the MLB
Game 83: LHP – Wei-Yin Chen vs. RHP – Felix Hernandez
Like Hammel, Chen has pitched well this season, but is coming off a rough start. Chen in 7-4 with a 3.73 ERA in his rookie season, not bad!
- * Current Line: 7-4 / 3.73 ERA / 30 BB / 64 SO / 1.32 WHIP
- * Opponents are batting .257 against him but .270 from the left side of the plate.
All Star Felix Hernandez can win this game if he is backed up by the struggling Mariners offense. The M’s have not played well against southpaws this season so runs may be at a premium, especially in Safeco field.
Felix on the other hand is coming off a complete game shut out against the Red Sox, and appears to be back in the saddle.
- * Current Line: 6-5 / 3.09 ERA / 30 BB / 114 SO / 1.22 WHIP
Game 84: RHP – Jake Arrieta vs. Hector Noesi
This could be a brutal game. The current Mariners are hitting a combined .200 average against the Orioles Starter, this game could be the deciding factor for Noesi’s rotation spot with his team this season.
- * Current Line: 3-9 / 5.81 ERA / 28 BB / 86 SO / 1.38 WHIP
- * Figgins has a career .308 average against Beckett, will he get the start?
Hector Noesi, who has struggled a ton this season and gave up 4 home runs in Safeco Field his last outing, has some job security for no reason other that the M’s need guys to pitch games. I’m struggling to believe in the guy right now.
- * Current line 2-10 / 5.69 ERA / 34 BB / 56 SO / 1.32 WHIP
Orioles vs. Mariners Series Predictions
Unless the M’s get lucky they will lose this game. Let’s face it, luck is not something the M’s have an abundance of. Prediction: Loss (Orioles 5 – Mariners 1)
Left handed pitchers are loving Safeco’s dimensions and Seattle’s lack of power versus right handed batters but Chen is vulnerable to lefties himself, so the M’s have a chance. Prediction: Win (Orioles 2 – Mariners 3)
This prediction is just a coin toss really. A crappy pitcher against a crappy offense. Who will fold first? With our luck he will throw a perfect game against us. Prediction: Loss (Orioles 2 – Mariners 1)
Jim Thome was hitless in four at-bats and struck out twice in his Baltimore debut Sunday. Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders has missed three straight games due to illness.
Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit has an 11-game hitting streak.